There were thirty minutes before our friends were coming over for dinner. Naturally, I was running around frantically cleaning every little spot possible. Toys were thrown back into containers, the vacuum was ran, unfolded laundry was shoved into our bedroom as I attempted to create an illusion of perfection. When our friends arrived, we greeted them with plastered on smiles with a spotless house.
Throughout the entire evening, I struggled to be fully present. My mind was constantly spinning with thoughts of whether the kids were behaving, when should I bring dessert out, and that I needed to clean up the dishes.
In my mind, I thought hospitality meant I needed to have the perfect, spotless house. My kids needed to be on their absolute best behavior. Everything had to be perfect. Messes were not allowed.
Perfection was my unspoken and unacknowledged goal as a mom. Then one day, we were at a friend’s house after church for brunch and I caught a glimpse of true hospitality. With our families combined we had six little kids running around. It was in all ways, managed chaos. They had prepared an amazing brunch and we all sat, ate, and talked while the kids ran around. After brunch, I quickly offered to help clean up. My friend, calmly said, “Cleaning can wait until you all leave. Now is the time to relax and talk.” It was so simple and yet life changing.
In that moment I saw that hospitality is not a perfect meal, well behaved kids, or a spotless house. True hospitality is being fully present with those you are hosting.
From that day on, I have noticed more instances of hospitality in those around me and I have slowly been working on letting go of the need for perfection. I am learning that in order to have true, real friendships, we need to let others see the messy parts.
When we let down our walls of striving for perfection, others can come in. Connection happens as we realize there are similar struggles and challenges. It is a beautiful thing to do life together. Mamas, we need to let down these walls.
Look at the people around you. Who can you let into your mess?
Invite them over and do not stress about how everything looks.
While they are over, be present. Wait to clean up and just be in the moment.
Are you ready to get messy, friends?
Every Monday, Moriah and I host a link party specifically for moms to share encouraging posts. We would love for you to link up your posts on motherhood below and connect with some other mamas.
Join us with #mamasharesmonday as we share our moments of motherhood. There will also be some of the posts shared on our Mama Moments Board on Pinterest.